Joined March 2017 Message
  • Day48

    Notre Dame - we are safe just barely

    June 6, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    After a lovely reunion with my second cousin Laura, Nancy and their daughter Ari at Montmartre, we returned to the Left Bank across from Notre Dame Cathedral​. As we entered the plaza in front of the cathedral, it began to sprinkle. Since we were just recovering from being drenched with a cool rain and small hail while walking down the steps from Sacre Coeur, I asked Dan if he wanted to enter the line to visit Notre Dame although we had been at that same spot yesterday taking the typical tourist photos and reading about the cathedral. He declined to go inside so we stopped momentarily to put on our rain gear. We cut through the waiting line and had just entered the street leading back to our apartment when we heard 2 gunshots. Looking over our shoulders, we saw hundreds of people either hit the ground or run in all directions, mainly toward us. Everyone was screaming in panic. Dan grabbed my hand and told me to run, but with my knee problem, all I could manage was a slightly faster shuffle. People ran past us like we were standing still while gendarmes were running the other direction back toward the cathedral and sirens were blaring all around us. Needless to say, we are thankful for the timing that allowed us to be 10 seconds away from a terrifying incident. From what we can read in French on TV, there was one assailant armed with a hammer and yelling "C'est pour Syria". Not sure if this made the news in the states but it seemed to be a major but brief event here in Paris in light of recent terrorist attacks in Europe. We are safe and glad to be returning home on Thursday.Read more

  • Explore, what other travelers do in:
  • Day47

    Paris

    June 5, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    We have been blessed with beautiful weather on this trip. Reservations for a nighttime visit to the Eiffel Tower was the best idea ever! Today we are being lazy tourists by riding around on a bus. My bad knee finally decided to scream at me after all this traveling but I am hobbling around quite well. Not posting pictures because I cracked the screen on my phone. I guess this means that it is time to go home. We are ready! Au revoir.Read more

  • Day43

    Ieper, Belgium

    June 1, 2017 in France ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Explored World War I sites yesterday including British and German cemeteries. The countryside is so peaceful today so it is hard to visualize the devastation from 100 years ago. The town of Ieper (Ypres) was virtually bombed to rubble but has been rebuilt to look as original as possible. Every evening at 8 the town holds a memorial service at the Menen Gate to honor the 90,000 soldiers who died and whose bodies were never recovered. Thousands more are buried all across the area in beautiful cemeteries that are meticulously groomed. Workers were on their knees tending the flowers beside each headstone, carefully pulling weeds one at a time. Today we drove south through beautiful farmland in France, had a brief stop in the seaside town of Honfleur and meandered through several quaint villages on the way to our cozy accommodations in an apple orchard in the Calvados region of Normandy. I would love to just sit here for a day, reading and relaxing and listening to the birds but more sightseeing awaits! We will be home in a week😚!Read more

  • Day22

    Crazy trip so far

    May 11, 2017 in France ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

    Bonjour! This will be brief...at sea for 11 days instead of 6 due to high seas and wind in port of Ponta Delgado, Sao Miguel, Portugal. Finally arrived in Brest, France this morning. More problems to get off the ship. Greeted by rain and we are borrowing Wi-Fi in a beautiful gracious hotel lobby. The wine is great!!! Brest is a very modern city with vintage touches like cobblestones along the streets. It was bombed to ruins in WWI so much of the area has newer concrete buildings. Next visit is a remaining guard tower and museum along the water if we can find it! Dan has been taking bridge lessons on board, has mastered the high ropes course and we have screamed our way down the big slides. Lots of good shows and music so far. Doesn't sound very exciting but we are having fun and look forward to more in the next 3 weeks.Read more

Never miss updates of Gin and Dan Stewart with our app:

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android